Friday 9 December 2016

Santas take the plunge for charity

Published 18/12/2011 | 13:52

More than 160 people donned Santa costumes for a charity dive in Somerset
More than 160 people donned Santa costumes for a charity dive in Somerset

Madcap divers dressed as Father Christmas have braved near freezing temperatures to take part in a wacky event.

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The surreal sight of 161 Santa Claus' plunging into a quarry pool at less than eight degrees Celsius dressed in full Scuba diving kit was an irresistible attraction for onlookers.

Divers from all over the country gathered at Vobster Quay, near Frome, Somerset to raise money for the RNLI's SOS Day next month.

This year's dive is in aid of the charity's lifejacket campaign, which is raising funds to provide the 35 lifeboat stations in the south west of England with new state-of-the-art lifejackets.

Organisers believe they will have raised around £10,000 for the charity.

Tim Clements, operations manager at Vobster Quay, said: "The idea is to get as many divers in the water at the same time.

"It's gone exceptionally well and we've had 161 divers in the water all at once and we're hoping we will have raised £10,000 for the RNLI.

"We're very pleased to have beaten the record of 158 divers two years ago.

"We measured the temperature at the surface it was 9.4 degrees Celsius but at 20 metres where the divers are it is more like 7.8 degrees Celsius."

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